Before I moved too close to a major city, I used to love going for long drives. Sometimes I was alone on the road, with only trees and houses around me but no other cars. It was relaxing, and some of my best story ideas came to me while I was in the car with part of my mind engaged in driving while the rest wandered.
(Come to think of it, the fact that I can’t really go for long relaxing drives anymore might be part of the reason I have trouble thinking of things to write now…)
When I was in the car, while of course I had to pay attention to traffic and signs, I didn’t have to completely engage my brain. Sometimes when depression was kicking my butt, being behind the wheel was all it took to put me in a better frame of mind, because it shut off the thoughts. If I was bored, heading out to see someplace I hadn’t seen before was always exciting.
I think I inherited the driving gene from my dad. When I was growing up, he would often take off on hours-long drives to nowhere, and sometimes he took me with him. I always loved seeing new places and things, and spending time with my dad was a bonus.
Now, I live just outside a major city, and driving isn’t so relaxing. There isn’t anyplace I can go that doesn’t involve driving through heavy traffic for at least half an hour, and while I would eventually get to more relaxing routes and areas, I would have to go through the same heavy traffic to get home. Which would kind of defeat the relaxation of driving in the first place.
I miss driving. Maybe when it isn’t winter here anymore, I’ll try it again.